Housing affordability improved in just 1% of US counties last quarter

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    Only seven US counties were more affordable than their historical averages in the second quarter, according to ATTOM. High prices, mortgage rates, property taxes, and home expenses are hurting affordability. 87.3% of the housing market saw prices increase last quarter.

    Virtually every corner of US housing is historically unaffordable, with just a handful of counties bucking the trend, ATTOM reported.

    Of the 589 counties analyzed by the real estate data firm in the second quarter, only 1.2% were more affordable than their historic average. That’s a sharp drop from three years ago, when that measure stood at 94.2% in the first quarter of 2021.

    The seven counties included Manhattan and San Francisco. This specifically means that the share of wages required for homeownership did not increase past historic levels.

    Nationwide, a barrage of high price and elevated mortgage rates has pressured income requirements to rise among would-be homebuyers, and many have been sidelined by waning affordability.

    On average, the median single-family home and condo hit a new high in the second quarter, surging to $360,000. Prices rose in 87.3% of tracked counties, the report said.

    “It’s common for these trends to intensify during the Spring buying season when buyer demand increases,” ATTOM CEO Rob Barber said in the report. “However, the trends this year are particularly challenging for house hunters, more so than at any point since the housing market boom began in 2012.”

    According to the report, homeownership itself is getting costlier. Expenses on median-priced homes comprised 35.1% of the average national wage, marking the highest point since 2007.

    Added to that are mortgage payments, home insurance, mortgage insurance and property taxes; the typical payment on these hit a record $2,114, ATTOM said.

    Regionally, the Northeast and West Coasts led in unaffordability, with California’s Santa Cruz and New York’s Kings County at the head of the trend.

    Most analysts are betting that home prices and mortgage rates will remain elevated through the medium term, but others have projected the possibility of housing correction.

    According to strategist Chris Vermeulen, rising consumer weakness and rising layoffs will make mortgages all the more unaffordable, pushing owners to sell their homes.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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